CMU School of Drama

Friday, July 28, 2017

Disney Is Building Facial Recognition to Figure Out When You'll Laugh During Toy Story 5 The Walt Disney Company is using AI to determine how much audiences enjoy every single moment of their films. At IEEE’s Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition last weekend, Disney Research and Caltech explained their technique for tracking the facial expressions of people watching movies.


Jack Desmarais-Harris said...

Science and engineering has been taking serious steps towards more and more advanced AIs. There are so many different kinds of AI that companies are starting to use them to their advantage. Disney’s steps towards analyzing facial expressions to gauge just how funny their movies are seem a bit unnecessary. An interesting statistic to have, definitely, but why are we automating funny? All humor is subjective so how much does an organization gain from seeing how much people laugh? What’s funny to the director/writers, or whoever else will be funny to them. Averaging a laughing stat to base your comedy on is such a waste of incredible technology in my opinion. How they’re doing it is truly incredible, however, and it’s definitely a great concept and invention but I question the practicality of it. Disney’s always been a pioneer in film and animation so I will probably eat my words but I do hope that they’re able to enhance their films.

Nicholas Cialone said...

I find it both really cool and also really creepy that we will be watched when seeing movies. I myself and very curious to find out what this information will be used for, whether they will use it in the future to determine what their movies will be like, or if they will use it for commercials, or some other use. It is however very worrisome to think that soon this could be the reality. That we are being watched by companies in order for them to increase their profits and success. This could be anything from movies, to video games, to appliances, and anything that we use on the daily. I personally believe that this is an invasion of privacy, and that it goes against the rules of fair business. It is also worth wondering if this technology will soon be applied to theater, so that theater companies can really see how people react to their shows.

Brandy Zhang said...

This is a rather intriguing subject. It would definitely benefit the company and their creative team by providing real-time statistics when they need to come up with something that invokes a certain emotion. To be honest, nowadays there are movies into which a lot of cringe-worthy jokes are inserted. Some of them try to be funny and make the audience laugh even when the scene itself is supposed to be serious. Hopefully this technology is going to change this phenomenon. More importantly, this method of recording audience's responses is going to be significantly more efficient and effective than only having audience members do reviews afterwards. When the audience members' responses are recorded throughout the whole movie, the analysts are able to see a whole range of responses at every single point in the movie. This will allow them to discover not only exactly what the audience responded poorly or well to, but also the "neutral" responses given to certain parts of the movie. This way, the creative team will know which parts to imitate and what parts to cut out based on either the poor responses or the nonchalance of the audience.
One concern with this technology, however, might be the comfort level of the audience members. Some people might perceive it as uncomfortable or weird having a camera analyzing their faces when they are trying to enjoy a movie. If the technology creates discomfort for the audience and therefore distracts them from the actual movie, it might backfire and not get the information it needs.

Veronica Chen said...

It's fascinating to read about these advances in technology, especially when they're involving movies. I love watching movies, and I believe that having this kind of technology could be very beneficial. Disney could use the information from the tests to figure out what really tugs at the audiences' heartstrings or makes them laugh the hardest. The information collected will help the creators of the movies really understand what they can do to elicit the best response possible to their movies. Although some of the jokes made in movies aren't the best, the information collected from the tests will help them to understand that those bad jokes aren't received well. Having the AI program be able to predict the facial expressions of people fascinates me. The fact that the technology has come so far to be able to predict a facial expression is both beneficial to the movie market as well as to the creators of the technology. The only downside to this new tech could be that people will not want to be recorded throughout the movie and if they know that they are, it will alter their movie going experience. The technology as a whole is beneficial to the movie market, but might not be as beneficial to the movie goers.

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